Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We're Mutts!

In honor of National Dog Day yesterday...

We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts! Here's proof: his nose is cold! But there's no animal that's more faithful, that's more loyal, more lovable than the mutt.   - John Winger  (Bill Murray in Stripes) 

The above quote is part of a hilarious scene from the great 1981 comedy, Stripes. But there is also a great deal of truth in the speech. And, I'm afraid, it is a truth we have forgotten. It seems to me that far too many of us here in the good ol' US of A have become elitists. Instead of mutts, we see ourselves as the pure breeds. Not only do we no longer embrace the role of underdogs, we are dismissive and often afraid of those who do. We worry about who we let live in our country. We worry about who we might have to sit next to on the bus or in a restaurant. And worst of all, we worry about keeping the riff-raff out of our churches.  

I read a story recently of a man who was thrown out of a church service on a Sunday morning when someone in the congregation recognized him as one of the local panhandlers. The pastor told the ushers to ask this homeless man to leave. He didn't belong there because his presence was upsetting the "good people" who were members of that church. I hate to break it to that pastor and his flock, but when that man left that building, Jesus went with him. Read the gospels and you will be overwhelmed with the number of people Jesus hung out with who would be banned from our churches today. We often claim it's a safety issue. More often than not it's a love issue. We love the people who are like us, forgetting that Jesus came for the sick, the lost, the lame, the sinners and the homeless. He came for the felons, the illegal immigrants, the unwashed and the ugly. Jesus came for the mutts. And the sooner we in the church remember that Jesus loves the "least of these" every bit as much as he loves the saints, the sooner we can actually show the world what a Jesus Revolution looks like.  Everyone matters.

I see commercials all the time inviting us to adopt stray dogs and give them the love and attention they need. That's a great idea- for the church. Let's start adopting mutts. You can start with me. My name is Carl, and I am part of "the least of these." I have been a "notorious sinner." My nose is cold, and my heart is faithful.  Jesus loves me.  How about you?

Because of Jesus,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading,and thanks for your comment!